// Morrisons introduces dedicated shopping hour for NHS workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic
// The new hour will be 7am-8am, Monday-Saturday
// A staff member will be at the door of each store to let staff with an NHS badge in
Morrisons has announced that will introduce an NHS hour at the beginning of every day, apart from Sunday, so that NHS workers can stock up on the products they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new hour will be 7am-8am and a Morrisons staff member will be at the door of each store to let staff with an NHS badge in.
Opening hours for other customers will move from 8am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.
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Sundays will continue to have six hours of trading in line with Sunday trading rules.
Other grocers that have introduced dedicated shopping hours for NHS workers include Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.
It comes after many NHS staff have said that they cannot buy the products they need at the beginning or the end of their shift as supermarkets have seen unprecedented demand due to a rush of customers panic-buying.
Critical care nurse Dawn Bilbrough, from York, made a heartfelt plea for shoppers to stop stockpiling, in a video which went viral on social media on Thursday.
In the video, she is seen crying after visiting a supermarket following a 48-hour hospital shift to find there were no fruit or vegetables.
“Staff in the NHS are facing into an unprecedented challenge and we’re doing our bit to help them buy their groceries,” Morrisons chief executive David Potts said.
“We’ve seen some nurses and doctors struggling to find what they need and so we’re responding with dedicated time for them to shop.
“The core purpose of our organisation, all 96,537 of us, is to play our full part in feeding the nation, it’s more than our job.”
Morrisons is also taking on up to 500 staff from Marie Curie and CLIC Sargent charity shops to help the elderly and vulnerable in its supermarkets.
Earlier this week, Morrisons announced it was creating 3500 jobs to expand its home delivery service to cope with the soaring demand, while implementing immediate payments for its smaller suppliers.
The Big 4 grocer has also placed purchasing restrictions across 1250 lines, and has created a new colleague hardship fund to support colleagues in financial difficulty as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Morrisons also said staff who are sick with the coronavirus will receive sick pay whether or not they would normally be eligible.